Home > Business > How to start a transport business

How to start a transport business

Colourful Volvo F12 and FH12 recovery vehicles...

Colourful Volvo F12 and FH12 recovery vehicles outside business premises, Dallinghoo, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people are lured into the transport business without really counting the cost. I was reading a transport forum a few weeks ago and someone said, ‘Why does every Jack and Jill want to get into the transport business?’ From a distance it looks like a piece of cake, you buy the trucks, get a driver and get on with it.

In reality, from the get go, there are numerous hurdles to be overcome. It may be difficult to get finance to finance your business because many financial institutions require that you have a long standing contract to ensure that you can pay back the loan. The transport business is high risk and the banks are very cautious when lending money. This should get you thinking, why don’t banks hand out money on a silver platter if the business is so lucrative? This is because many fail in this business. This is no reason to fear, many do succeed, but it takes hard work and focus. My advice is, do your homework thoroughly, work hard and you will succeed. There is always a need for transport recession period or not, running a profitable transport business is the hard part, don’t end up as a casualty. Do your homework.

I met with a client last year and I asked him a few questions about the business. I asked him, what his costs would be and he started running some figures in his mind, 5000 for fuel, 1000 for toll gates etc, about x amount he said confidently. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? By the time you get to an advanced stage of starting your business you should have some spreadsheets with clearly calculated financials. Working things in your head is a sure recipe for disaster, if that is all you have done regarding your financial projections. In this business, you cannot afford to go on presumption, not that you can do this in any business. You need to find precise facts and calculate your costs as accurately as possible. Don’t wait for surprises, because surprises can be very expensive. If you haven’t put aside some money for breakdowns, this alone can cripple you financially and will affect your bottom line severely and this is bad news for your business.

Here a few general steps, to consider. These are not exhaustive, but give you a few things to think about.

1.    Step 1

There are many types of transport businesses from which to choose, including: a limousine or taxi service, medical transportation, courier service, auto transport business, charter/bus company and trucking. Each type brings with it its own challenges, so choose a business that does not have a lot of competition in your area. Similarly, make sure you do your due diligence to ensure that there is actually a need for this type of transport business around your location.

2.    Step 2

Next, contact your local public utilities commission and find out what you need to do to start a transport business, such as getting a permit and license and registering with the local, state or national transportation department.

3.    Step 3

Contact an insurance company that specializes in your business’ chosen mode of transportation. Be sure to investigate all companies.

4.    Step 4

This step is probably the most important because the amount of money you spend here will affect your business, the type of vehicle you buy will affect you business as well. When it comes time to purchase vehicles for your business you may want to consider buying used models, which can be a big money saver. If you find a vehicle that has low miles and suits your needs, then have it checked over by a mechanic. If you are buying a larger fleet of vehicles you can often get a discount for buying from a dealer in bulk. Obviously, the vehicle is the key element to any transportation business, so do everything in your power to make sure that you get the right vehicle for the right price.

5.    Step 5

Advertise your business to your target market as soon as you are up and running. y. Contact your local telephone book and find out how much it costs to place an ad in its next edition. Build a website for your business and make business cards that list your URL and pertinent contact details. Tell everyone that you meet about your new venture—word of mouth can be a big help to a new business.

6.    Step 6

Don’t give up. Remember that just like any venture, a transport business takes time and effort to build clientele. Make sure that you have the financial backing to get you through at least one year of rocky times. You don’t want to wind up closing your business in a short amount of time due to limited funds.

Categories: Business
  1. February 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Together with the whole thing which seems to be developing inside this subject material, many of your opinions tend to be quite exciting. Having said that, I am sorry, but I can not subscribe to your entire theory, all be it refreshing none the less. It would seem to everyone that your commentary are generally not completely justified and in reality you are generally yourself not thoroughly convinced of the argument. In any event I did appreciate reading it.

  2. Funsho
    November 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I really enjoyed appreciate the information you posted. Transport business requires dedication, otherwise you end up in great loss. Also try to have your own mechanic that repaires your vehicle.

    • January 13, 2012 at 7:46 am

      I totally agree. Transport is not a walk in the park. It required commitment focus and great planning skills. The money is there, but you need to work hard consistantly to keep the profits coming in.

  3. Oliseyenum uti
    January 13, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Have you ever consider that the life line of a nation is the transportation business. Do you ever thought of the fact that starting-up a transport business is such a lucrative business which causes dispersal of economic, political, social and cultural life of a nation in advancing. Transport business is a derived demand providing satisfaction. At any moment there is transport, it will invite investors all over. l don’t need too many convincers as per the issue of How to start a transport business « you can plunge into it with carefulness and enjoy the resultant effect.

    • January 13, 2012 at 7:52 am

      You are so right. Transport and transport infrastructure are so vital in the growth of any economy. That is why I believe that transport is the ultimate enabler. There are many challenges with running a transport business, especially in Zimbabwe. With road blocks applenty and even more corrupt policemen who try and fleece operators of the little they make, it becomes challenging to operate in such circumstances. Roads are bad, some routes are seasonal, maintenace costs are high, good quality spares are difficult to find, so the challenges are there.All the same, the need is there and as you have rightly said, if you plunge with caution, you will enjoy the benefits. thank you for you comment.

  4. james
    January 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I wish to start a transport company in Gautang . I have R70 000 , l need good secondhand 6×4 truck but not enough to buy one. Help pliz!! I am a truck driver.

    • May 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

      @ James, hello. You have done so well to save R70 000. If you have the discipline to save that much in a culture where people are used to borrowing money, you are onto a winner. Going secondhand is a great plan, but just make sure it is a good truck, one that is on the road and not in the garage. Plus you have industry experience. Loans are a bit difficult to come by, but look around, build a relationship with your bank, they are the most likely to give you a loan. All the best.

    • November 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Hey, A friend has a truck for sale in Lesotho and its up for around R120,000 pic’s available here on our website

      The truck is late 2001 it was imported from UK to Lesotho early this year.
      for more info email me here myboo2020@msn.com then I will give you his details and he will be in africa early Dec 2012

      Stay blessed

      • November 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm

        Thanks a million.

    • ahmed
      October 22, 2013 at 9:41 am

      all the best

  5. Omane Kennedy
    February 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I really want to enter into the transport service market but in my case i want to geared it towards the ministry of the gospel where as the passengers are enjoying their journey, ministers would be ministering to them in the bus. It would be the passengers bus type. I’m in Ghana now and a student in the University of Cape Coast with this ambition of starting my ministry as an Evangelist of the Kingdom of God from the transport business. It is my dream of starting this business in Ghana and then expand it to the various parts of Africa and beyond the Africa. Though i may make money out of it, my main objective isn’t to make abnormal profit to reach traders and travelers who cannot make time to church and then if there is any profit at all, it may be directed to other projects God has given me. Frankly speaking, i don’t have any money to start with. Is there any idea you have to help me on how to raise the money and then how to start it, God bless you.

  6. Aare
    February 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Sell ​​a small transport company in Estonia. I have a license in inland transport of the euro union. Price 70000th € – Lorry is included in the price. Mail to: aare.altef@neti.ee

  7. jackie
    March 6, 2012 at 10:14 am

    i dont know a lots about transportation but i wil like to learn and get involve in this business,especialy in medical transportation and courier service. please up date me if anything come.

    • March 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Hello Jackie. The deeper you build your foundations, the higher you can build. Get as much information as you can get and prepare. TRansport is rewarding but is hard work. Medical transport is a need that is quite high but the start up costs as with any form of transportation business are quite high. Dont let that stop you, work your way up from a small van till you get to where you want to go. Will post about medical transport soon. Keep watching.

      • Gordon
        August 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm

        Hie. Thanks 4 yo articles. I want to start a taxi business from jorburg to harare using a sprinter . Please advice me caz l am really craving to get into the business and financially am very stable. Plz help

  8. Zweli Samela
    April 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Thanks a lot. I enjoyed reading this information as it has helped me a lot. I would like to know where do i begin as i would like to go for the medical transportation and courier services, who do i target as far as the medical transportation is concerned? Hopitals, clinics or laboratories?

    • April 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Thank you for reading. Medical transport is definitely a good area to enter. Where are you. Ity might be an idea to look into how other operators have grown their business. All the best.

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    May 17, 2012 at 6:58 am

    The life line of a any nation. I’m here to introduce you into a most essential medium to human path from one station to another. lt is very lucrative. You can’t avoid it because movement is an ens entail characteristic in our human world.

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  10. shekhar
    May 27, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Hi all ….i am into transportation business for the past 5 years .It is profit making and as said by many of you yes it is a business which needs to be taken care of continuously to keep the profits .Transport is the only industry which has no government support in India atleast .All other industries have associations which work for the demands of their industries but transport is such a huge industry that no association can ever solve their problems.Inspite of all these issues we have established transport company .If anybody is interested in investing and joining business for expansion u r welcome .my ID shekharreddy_17@rediffmail.com

  11. balamurugan
    July 9, 2012 at 8:20 am

    its very useful …

  12. Prince sam
    July 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Although every thing in life take risk,once you started a transport business you should be able to economise your income each day.i.have a payroll for everything you are doing to avoid loss in your business

    • Kd
      June 17, 2015 at 9:39 am

      How can I get the payroll really need it

  13. July 27, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Understand this

  14. Ram kumar keshri
    July 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

    how do i start tranceport bisunees

  15. Ram kumar keshri
    July 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

    i start teranceport bisnees

    • Manoj Kumar
      July 16, 2015 at 6:49 am

      मै ट्रांसपोर्ट बिज़नस करना चाहता हू । मुझे सलाह दे ।

  16. WILL
    August 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Hi i got a five year trucking contract but i dont have a truck, how do i go about to get a truck?

  17. Hamisi Malyunga
    August 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks very much indeed for interesting article, I am in a process of implementing your ideas

  18. Sachin
    September 16, 2012 at 9:36 am

    ATTENTION! My dad has transportation business in INDIA of Logistics of 150 Trucks.I am thinking to start the same buisness in San Fransisco.Plzz Help Me how much trucks should i buy first and From where I get Vendors.. PLz Read and Reply

  19. President Designate
    September 24, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Here in Nigeria, public transportation remains a huge market even as the government is struggling to alleviate the system by introducing mass transit services. For instance in the business capital of Lagos, population is estimated at 16m with about 80% comprised of the middle and lower classes…the market seems endless to be satisfied.

    As stated in some of the posts, getting a vehicle is probably the least of your obstacles from an investor perspective…drivers can either make or break your business. A bad driver will run your vehicle down to the point where the bus becomes a liability. The preferred method used in Nigeria is similar to a hire-purchase. An investor purchases a bus and gets a driver who has good knowledge of the route. The driver is obligated to return a pre-agreed amount to the investor either weekly or monthly in exchange for a fixed period (usually 2 or 3 years). The investor promises (signed contract) to transfer ownership to the driver at the end of the fixed period. The catch here however is that the driver must meet up with all the payments within the period or he runs the risk of losing the vehicle.

    The purport of this system is to ensure that the investor’s investment is protected and the driver has an incentive to treat the vehicle with care.

    • September 26, 2012 at 3:34 am

      That sounds like it works.

  20. em
    September 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    my company has a fleet of about 55trucks and my challenge is on billing these vehicles on time, i currently have a deployment sheet where the logistics record all trucks leaving the premises and forward to sales for billing however there are more cases where some trucks are not captured in the system and so am trying to get new ideas on how best to capture revenue for all trucks on time

    • sandesh
      October 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

      You can see the demo the of your devices, in which you can have the command on your vehicles & many more functionality in terms of security purposes. You can send me brief summary of your requirement so that might we can fulfill your requirement.

  21. Diwakar
    December 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I have 80,000 Rs and I want to start a transport business,
    I need a car for that i want to put that in call center or any firm , but am really confused which car I should buy. this much money is enough for a car or not. Plz help…..

  22. Houseoftransport
    December 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Anyone know to improve transportation biz? I have my own charter mini bus company in singapore. But it’s very stagnant now. Feel like giving up.

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  24. Emwogu J
    January 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Enriching ideas there!!!

  25. Sadiq Manzan
    January 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I have had a very successful transport business between Senegal and The Gambia for 10 years now. It sure is not an easy line of business, BUT it can be very profitable if you focus on three things that people look out for. There are:

    (1) Safety

    (2) Reliability

    (3) Comfort

    The rest will follow.


    • January 21, 2013 at 7:04 am

      I totally agree. African transport system is well known for its unreliability. If a business can set itself apart by being reliable and safe, that is a mile ahead of the competition, add comfort, then you are onto a winner.

    • Kd
      June 17, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Hi Sadiq
      your three points sums it all. I am setting a transport business in Zimbabwe. I would love to have some chat with you please my email is celestialpublications03@gmail.com

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  27. Mavuto C. Mdulamizu
    January 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I am a young man who has acquired a 20tones truck and would like to venture staight into the haulage business. my writting is to request, through you on the pieces of advice when it comes to.trucking business.
    I live i Malawi, one of the British colonies in the Southern part of Africa.

    waiting to hear from you.

    Mavuto Mdulamizu

  28. January 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Dear Mavuto,

    Congratulations on acquiring your truck. Now you have to operate and run your business profitably. If you have any contracts, try and fulfill your obligations to the best of your ability. This will create a good name for you and you need this in transport. If you don’t have any contracts, you can start looking for these. It is easier to get contracts when you have a truck. You can also use word of mouth and get jobs as they come, depending on how big your truck is. Be wise and don’t squander your profits.

    Kind Regards,

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    consideration of his / her other obligations.
    4. Credit scoring & Eligibility Criteria:
    Personal loans best feature is collateral free
    and quick loan process, Hence Bank/NBFC will carefully analysis of your credit history.
    Customers with good credit history score will have high bargaining power.
    Customers with moderate / Low credit history
    may end up taking loans at higher rate of interest and Banks will have advantage
    of it. Customers have to ensure that they do not have any overdue while going for
    a personal loan. It is advisable to clear the credit card outstanding and other loan overdue before going for a personal loan as it improves credit worthiness.
    It is to be noted that not only income of the customer but Leverage is
    considered for arriving the limits. Generally Bank/NBFC
    prefer the credit score is above 750 for funding the personal Loan.
    ApnaLoanBazaar will help you to know your CIBIL(Credit) Score: Know your Credit Score here
    5. Plan the repayment from the regular:
    Customer has to be aware of repayment tenor, monthly repayment
    date, mode of payment and installment amount. Repayment tenor to be planned based on the income and obligations.
    Over burden of EMI may result in delay and sometimes even defaulting the loan
    amount. Customer shall not forget the repayment date and maintain sufficient
    balances in the account for meeting the EMIs. Payment of EMIs by
    way of ECS through account is preferable to avoid unintentional delays.
    Even online payment from account is a suggestible mode
    of payment. In case of salaried employees it is better to opt the monthly repayment
    date to be within first week of the month. In case of entrepreneurs/ Businessmen the EMIs are to be planned from their regular income than depending on some other futuristic/speculative sources.
    6. Terms & Conditions:
    All the terms and conditions to be read carefully before signing
    the agreement. Any terms in small print to be observed carefully.
    Payment terms to be noted and have to maintain sufficient balance in the account
    for meeting the EMIs. Check the correctness of the updated personal details.
    Mobile alerts, Email alerts will remind the due
    date of payment and confirm the receipt of amount.
    In his/ her busy schedule customer may forget the due date whereas these alerts
    will remind them and help in making the payments on time.
    Other Important Points to be noted:
    1. In general the larger the loan amount the lower
    the interest rate. In some instances you may save on
    borrowing slightly higher. Plan accordingly.
    2. Do not make late payments, there is risk of delay charges and increase in annual rate.
    This will also effect
    the credit history.
    3. Co-signing of any other individuals personal
    loan to be done with extreme caution because any default
    by them will effect your credit history.
    4. Good payment track will improve the credit history and
    make you eligible for additional loans with lower
    interest rate benefits.
    Who are Eligible:
    Following individuals are eligible for personal loan:
    1. Salaried employees
    2. Self employed professionals
    3. Self-employed individuals
    4. Entrepreneurs and business owners
    Persona should citizen of India and must be above 21 years of age to avail personal
    loan. The maximum Age limit should be 55 years, and
    applicant should be fulfill Bank/Financial Institute eligibility criteria.
    Personal Loan Documentation:
    Identity Proof : (Anyone of the below)
    1. Passport
    2. Driving License
    3. PAN card
    4. Photo credit card (with embossed Signature and last two months statement)
    5. Banker’s sign verification
    Age Proof : (Anyone of the below)
    1. PAN Card
    2. Passport
    3. Driving License
    4. School leaving certificate
    5. Voter’s card
    6. BirthCertificate
    7. LIC policy (only for age Proof)
    Address Proof : (Anyone of the below)
    1. Passport
    2. Telephone bill (BSNL/MTNL)
    3. Electricity bill
    4. Title deed of property
    5. Rental agreement
    6. Driving license
    7. Election ID card
    8. Photo-credit card (with last two month statements)
    Income Proof : (Anyone of the below)
    1. Latest salary slip
    2. Current dated salary Certificate with latest form 16.
    3. Latest year IT Returns with Tax Audit reports(For Self Employed applicants)
    Job Continuity Proof : (Anyone of the below)
    1. Form 16
    2. Relieving letter
    3. Appointment Letter (for last two months)
    4. Last 6 months of VAT/Service Tax returns (For Self Employed Applicants)
    Banking History : (Anyone of the below)
    1. Bank statements of latest 2 months
    2. 3 months bank passbook

  75. May 14, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Reblogged this on Zimdev and commented:

    Does the thought of owning a large truck (gonyet in shona, so called because those loading the trucks always said, is it ‘Gone Yet?’) get you excited? Have a look at a few pointers before you invest your hard earned money. The transport business is not all rosey, so don’t jump in unless you are well prepare for a roller coaster ride.

  76. June 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    When some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she wants to be available
    that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.

  77. July 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I established a medical transportation company based in Dar es salaam-Tanzania. I have been operating for 6 months now. all this long I haven’t manage to win a standing contract. I have three trucks each 3tons. I need to know-how to bring up standing clients. nicoltcare@gmail.com

  78. STN
    July 8, 2014 at 3:45 am

    Thank you for bringing more information to this transport business for me. I’m truly grateful and really impressed. All the best luck to your transport business venture!

  79. July 13, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Have you ever thouhght about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would lovee to hwve you
    share some stories/information. I know my readers would value your work.
    If you’re ecen remotely interested, feel free tto send me an e-mail.

  80. September 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Spott on with tɦis write-up, I actuallƴ believe that this web siite neeɗs much
    more attention. I’ll probably be bacκ aɡain to read more,
    tɦanks foг the info!

  81. janis
    September 14, 2014 at 12:34 am

    I think the admin of this web site is really working hard in support of his
    site, since here every material is quality based stuff.

  82. Evelyn
    September 21, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Weddings and the accompanying engagement parties
    and showers can get stressful and out of hand for many reasons.
    The reason behind the success of these companies is that they make
    lot of effort to make the demotivational posters as interesting and as
    funny as possible. Whenever it is possible, try to get several
    services from the same company.

  83. david
    October 21, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Hello transport

  84. Marcus
    March 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I am trying to start my own car transport business and was wondering if you knew where I can rent a five car trailer from .

  85. millward
    April 8, 2015 at 7:57 am

    follow ur dreams dn,t lose hop

  86. pankaj choudhary
    May 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    how i start the transport business
    plz tellme about this …..

  87. June 10, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Can anyone help me to start my transport business please any advise, suggestions

    October 11, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am Vikas GAKHAR having around 13+ years of experience in power/Oil and Gas Sector.

    Now, I wish to try my luck in business.

    I find transport business/Service is very useful and required for our country.

    So, Kindly consider my application and give me the opportunity to work with you and expand this service to more and more people.

    Thanks & Regards
    Vikas Gakhar
    B.Tech+M.S (Master of Science)

  89. venkatash
    February 14, 2016 at 5:44 am

    yes your having any chains connect on mail id

  90. June 4, 2016 at 1:06 am

    By the time I talked to the qualified Psychologist at
    the counselling service, my marriage was rocky and I was nothing wanting an emotional train wreck.

  91. June 9, 2016 at 8:06 am

    thank you so much for giving as good ideas

  92. Harekrishna Bhui
    August 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    i do not have money but i want to start a business with a volvo ac bus what i have to do?? plz help me.

  93. August 31, 2016 at 3:41 am

    If you have learn any of my books, notably The Simple Home, would you please write a evaluate either at or at the
    on-line retailer you obtain it from.

  94. Mukhooli Wycliff
    September 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I get something now, its time to kick start ma business

  95. vijay veer Singh
    October 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Hi I am Vijay running my own transport company in Bangalore,India.At this time i am running almost 250 cabs for employee pick and drop,in MNC’S.

    But i am preparing my papers required for obtaining a Entrepreneur Visa for UK.

    Now want i know from you is,will it be the right decision to start a Transport business in UK, as i have knowledge and experience how to run a transport.And what stream will be better for me to start,and what will be the approx. profit in that.

    Please advise.


    • November 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Hello Vijay.
      I would suggest you study the UK market and see if your business model works in the UK. Also contact business advisers for UK specific guidance.

  96. Sumit Chakraborty
    March 28, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    can any one tell the profit margin for a hatchback car attached with Ola or Uber in Kolkata?

  97. kevin kanyari
    April 6, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Am very intrested to start a bus transport business but I luck capital

  1. August 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm
  2. October 21, 2015 at 5:01 am

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